Train and equip our volunteers

CFR Backpack

All over our region ordinary people have been trained by South Central Ambulance Service to give vital life saving help to their neighbours in the event of someone suffering cardiac arrest, stroke , heart attack, choking, chest pain and other life threatening symptoms. We rely 100% on donations to our charity to fund this vital work- we receive no public money at all to fund this care.

All these Community First Responders (CFRs) are volunteers, and they come from every walk of life. What they have in common is their desire to make a difference by volunteering in life and death situations. CFRs assist the ambulance service by attending emergency calls in the areas where they live or work. Because they are local, they can often reach a potentially life threatening emergency, such as a cardiac arrest, in the first vital minutes before the ambulance crew can get to the scene.

In cases of cardiac arrest, for every minute that passes without cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, a patient’s chances of survival decreases by 14%.  The treatment CFRs can give in the vital  minutes that they are on scene while the ambulance is on its way  really does save lives. Read more about how we know that CFRS save lives here.

What a CFR scheme needs and what that costs

Each scheme aims to have at least one volunteer on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – however not all have yet got enough volunteers or enough equipment to provide this round the clock cover.

With your help we can help maintain and  grow the CFR service, and to do this we  need to raise £200,000 in 2016/17, £250,000 in 2017/18 and £300,000 in 2018/19.

To keep costs down, teams of volunteers share equipment, passing it to each other as they log on and off the on call system. Even when they work closely together like this, every CFR scheme needs a basic set of equipment.

Find your nearest CRF scheme and learn how to volunteer here.

If you want to volunteer for the charity but don’t think that being a CFR is right for you, there are all sorts of other ways in which you can help.

Your donation will help buy:

airwave phone

Pager or phone

The communications equipment required to make sure the 999 call centre knows the CFR is on call  – every volunteer needs a pager or a phone at a cost of about £200 per year.


Uniform shirts and other kit

Polo shirts cost £10 per volunteer, a pulse oximeter costs £45 and for those volunteers who have a car equipped to carry entonox safely, a cylinder and bag cost £350.

kit bag

Equipment bag

At least one medical equipment bag for every 3 volunteers- these cost £265 each.


Defibrillator (AED)

At least one  defibrillator for every 3 volunteers – these cost £1000 each.

CFR car

Response vehicle

A way to get to the emergency. Many CFRS respond in their own cars, but many local teams find they need CFR cars that are clearly identifiable as ambulance response vehicles . Buying, branding and equipping a suitable car can cost up to £20,000 when a four wheel drive is needed. Keeping every CFR car on the road costs about 45p a mile.